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60 signatures on pro-MMA letter to Speaker

Assemblyman Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) speaks at the

Assemblyman Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) speaks at the podium during a press conference to announce a commitment to bring UFC to Madison Square Garden and New York State once the sport is legalized in the state. Credit: Getty

A letter supporting mixed martial arts was circulated through the New York State Assembly, signed by 60 members and delivered to Speaker Sheldon Silver late Tuesday, Assemblyman Dean Murray told Newsday.

Murray (R-East Patchogue) has been a vocal and active supporter of legalizing mixed martial arts in New York. His letter campaign was in effect Tuesday, the same day the Assembly Speaker told the Daily News that he didn't think there was "widespread support"  for the legislation.

"As far as that’s concerned, we’re still very much in the fight. It’s not over yet," Murray told Newsday.

Murray said he thought it was possible that Silver, the most powerful man in the Assembly, made that statement prior to receiving the letter.

Signed by 60 members of the Assembly, both Republicans and Democrats, the letter was also delivered to Herman D. Farrell Jr., chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.

"That letter was urging them to support mixed martial arts, get it to the floor and have a vote," Murray said. 

The bill is in the Codes committee, which meets next week. Should it pass there (it did last year), it goes to Ways and Means, then a full Assembly vote. It needs 76 "yay" votes to pass.

Codes meets next week, and the legislative session is scheduled to end on Monday, June 20.

New York is one of three remaining 48 states with athletic commissions that ban the sport of MMA. Connecticut and Vermont are the other two. Alaska and Wyoming do not have athletic commissions to regulate the sport.

New York Sports